Blogs about simulations and virtual reality

The Hi-SEAS IV mission's crew member coming out of their habitat (Photo courtesy University of Hawaii)

Sunday, August 28, 2016 the Hi-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) IV mission ended. It’s a simulation of a Mars mission conducted on the slopes of the volcano Mauna Loa. Six people spent a year in conditions similar to those the astronauts would face on Mars with a dome-shaped habitat as their home.

Fossil of Tribrachidium heraldicum

An article published in the journal “Science Advances” describes a computer simulation carried out to better understand how to eat the Tribrachidium Heraldicum (photo ¬©Aleksey Nagovitsyn), a creature that lived about 555 million years ago. The results reveal that in such an ancient time there was already a complex ecosystem formed by the first complex organisms greater than previously thought.

Simulation of the structure and motion of a phosphoglycerate kinase protein (Image courtesy Thomas Splettstoesser; all rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Physics” describes the results obtained with a series of simulations conducted using supercomputers at the Department of Energy of the USA’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The object of these sophisticated simulations were proteins to understand their motion, a key element in the functional, structural and regulatory roles they have in living organisms.

EAGLE image of the simulation of the history of a galaxy with some zooming (Image courtesy EAGLE project. All rights reserved)

A team of astronomers from the Dutch University of Leiden and the British one of Durham created a simulation of the universe called EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of Galaxies and their Environments). This project is run by the Virgo Consortium which has exactly the aim to produce cosmological simulations using supercomputers. The result, published in the January 2015 edition of the journal “Monthly Notices from the Royal Astronomical Society”, reproduces faithfully the evolution of the galaxies from a very uniform starting point.

Simulation of a galaxy cluster within Illustris (Image courtesy Illustris collaboration. All rights reserved)

A group of researchers coordinated by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) published in the journal “Nature” the results of the most sophisticated simulation of the universe ever produced. It’s Illustris, a project that led to the creation of a model to faithfully reproduce the evolution of the universe from 12 million years after the Big Bang to the present day.